The U.S. Representative to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, embarked on a tour to three West African nations – Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, from January 21 – 26.
The visit is aimed at strengthening bilateral relations, promoting democracy, and addressing key regional issues.
Liberia – Celebrating Democracy and Inauguration of President Boakai
In Liberia, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield led the U.S. Presidential Delegation to the inauguration of President-elect His Excellency Joseph Boakai.
The trip emphasized the U.S. government’s commitment to collaboration with the newly elected government.
It also commended the Liberian people for conducting free and fair elections, marking the country’s second democratic transfer of power since the civil war in 2003.
During her stay in Monrovia, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield attended the inauguration ceremony and engaged with government officials from various administrations.
Moreover, he interacted with emerging leaders, the business community, and Liberian peacekeepers.
The ambassador also gave a keynote speech on democracy at the Liberia Chamber of Commerce.
She addressed threats to democracy across Africa and emphasized the benefits of civilian-led democracies.
She also expressed appreciation for outgoing President George Manneh Weah’s commitment to democracy and peaceful power transition.
Guinea-Bissau – Regional Security and Bilateral Relations
In Guinea-Bissau, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield met with President Umaro Sissoco Embaló to discuss regional security and reaffirm the commitment to expand bilateral relations.
The discussions focused on Guinea-Bissau’s role as the Chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) from 2022-2023.
Opportunities for increased bilateral cooperation and Guinea-Bissau’s democratic development were also on the agenda.
In Sierra Leone, the Ambassador engaged with President Julius Maada Bio and other senior officials to welcome the country back to the UN Security Council.
Sierra Leone – Welcoming Back to the UN Security Council
The discussions covered bilateral and multilateral issues, the Agreement for National Unity, and shared priorities like women and youth empowerment, climate change, and health.
While in Freetown, the ambassador explored the Sierra Leone Peace Museum, gaining insights into the nation’s history and reconciliation efforts.
Additionally, she engaged with government, opposition leaders, and the international community to promote diplomatic collaboration and understanding.
The trip aligns with the Biden Administration’s goals for Africa, focusing on reinforcing commitments to democracy, empowering women and youth, promoting regional peace and security, and supporting inclusive and sustainable development.
World Economic Forum – USAID Administrator Samantha Power’s Initiatives
At the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting, USAID Administrator Samantha Power continued her efforts to expand partnerships with the private sector.
Her global call to action aimed at eliminating toxic lead from consumer products gained attention, addressing a critical health threat that claims over 1.6 million lives annually.
Power’s engagements with leaders from Georgia, Tanzania, and Cambodia showcased USAID’s commitment to supporting democracy, economic growth, and various sectors like hospitality, healthcare, and technology.
The roundtable discussions on tackling plastic pollution and de-risking private sector investments into African countries highlighted the agency’s multifaceted approach.
Welcome Corps Celebrates One-Year Anniversary
In a separate development, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken marked the first anniversary of the Welcome Corps, a private sponsorship program within the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
The program, launched by the Biden Administration, mobilised more than 15,000 Americans in its first year to welcome over 7,000 refugees to the United States.
The Welcome Corps has transformed refugee resettlement by involving communities, colleges, and workplaces in supporting refugees’ integration.
The program’s success in its inaugural year prompted the expansion of initiatives such as the Welcome Corps on Campus and the upcoming Welcome Corps at Work, connecting skilled refugees with employers in various industries.
Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield expressed her support for the Welcome Corps during her travels, emphasizing its role in upholding American values of generosity and compassion.
She highlighted the impact of the program in strengthening democracy, communities, schools, and shared prosperity.
As the Welcome Corps enters its second year, it continues to symbolize the American tradition of being good neighbors, guides, and friends to newcomers.
The program invites even more sponsors to contribute to changing lives and fostering a welcoming environment for refugees in the United States.